Just a few months back in February, the team of Flutter officially announced the support for creating windows as well as extending the Flutter framework for desktops in its core proficiency along with capabilities of cross-platform. Additionally, with the release of Flutter 3.0, it is also announced that from now Flutter framework will support MacOS as well as Linux. Individuals around the globe are currently looking to experiment with this new feature of Flutter. So, without killing our precious time let us know how Flutter can support desktop developers in a better way.
To know the answer to the above question, keep on reading this blog and identify how we can improve the Flutter experience for desktops.
What is your satisfaction level with Flutter on your desktop?
As per the survey it is found that about 78 percent of Flutter app developers find that they are very much satisfied with their experience of Flutter on desktop. The number of good ratings is quite great & for iOS it’s around 78 percent, however, for Android & web it is showing around 92% and 63% positive ratings. Undoubtedly, it is a good number for a Flutter desktop! But here one question arises is why an average of 22 percent of mobile app developers’ experiences fall short?
Which part of the desktop developer workflow is quite challenging from others?
Now, we asked mobile app developers to quantify their contentment at multiple stages of the s/w development workflow. As per the results, it is found that the contentment tended to fall off over the course of the process of desktop app development. This results in the lowest user contentment during debugging concerns of performance and deploying the mobile application. Furthermore, looking for Flutter packages that work great for desktops is quite challenging, as per the qualitative feedback from the survey & focus groups.
Concerns of troubleshooting performance is not a fun task, however, it should at least be a contentment experience for its users. Flutter web development deploying & troubleshooting can also pose a few challenges. There are so many challenges that are needed to be overcome while deploying the Flutter web development app. These challenges are as follows:
Setting up the environment can be very much challenging, especially for complex desktop apps. Certain tools may be requried for the development environment, such as compilers & frameworks that require to be installed & configured frequently. This can be time-consuming & it needs technical expertise. Along with that, setting up an environment for cross-platform development could be a challenging task too.
Debussing and Testing:
Debussing & testing desktop apps can be challenging, the reason behind this is the apps may be running on multiple platforms and h/w configurations. Finding & fixing bugs can be a tedious task that needs a deep understanding of the codebase & the underlying technology. Testing the desktop app needs different feature testing, configurations, & use cases.
Team effort can be applied to desktop development, and collaborating with other app developers, designers, & stakeholders can also be a challenging task too. Not all team members have the same priorities, goals, & schedules. It could be difficult to communicate & coordinate the work among the team members, especially while working remotely. It is important to establish effective communication challenges.
Desktop apps often need high performance & responses. Performance optimization can be challenging as it requires a thorough understanding of the hardware and OS needs. This makes sure to optimize resource usage & ensure the application is not blocking the User Interface threat.
Desktop apps can be upgraded to security threats, like data breaching, malware, and hacking. App developers must make sure that the app is quite safe to use & protected from potential attacks. Desktop apps must be designed to handle distinct security scenarios, such as when an app is running in an insecure environment.
What plays a great role in making better desktop UIs for you?
As per a survey, it is found that about 72% of mobile app developers feel that “built-in widgets of Flutter can offer Better User Interfaces support for desktop. Additionally, the survey also asks app developers what they feel that requires to be improved in User Interface design for desktop & they answered they need improvements in the:
- Adaptive layouts (44 percent)
- Drag and drop (31 percent)
- Keyboard shortcuts (27 percent)
The entire community wants the Flutter framework to be the 1st best cross-platform application development framework, so this is their end goal always. Although, by enhancing the “adaptive layouts” – every single platform can become strong. There’re a few other aspects that you require to take care of like OS, input devices, screen size & many others. It is not that easy a task but our dedicated flutter app developers are doing tremendously well to improve the Flutter adapative_scaffold package as well as assist you to create effective adaptive applications. In the meantime, stay tuned for an exciting event named Flutter Forward in January. In this event, you will get more insights on how to architect adaptive applications utilizing existing Flutter tools.
For keyboard shortcuts and drag & drop parts, the entire team is already working on the same. In fact, to make things more perfect, a shortcut widget was released. So, in 2023, support for drag & drop is a top priority.
Packages that would make Flutter desktop development simpler
Package support for Flutter desktop development is still catching up to that of mobile as well as web. Here are the most requested packages from desktop developers:
- multi-window (35 percent)
- native controls (32 percent)
- local storage (24 percent)
- web views (23 percent)
This above-shown feedback graph was closely aligned with the current list of priorities of Flutter with APIs for multi-window, native menus, & web views in the pipeline. Once all of these are released we can initiate categories solutions for local data storage & database access. A few additional package requests that are now almost eradicating or lower on the priority list, however also warrant consideration, are audio/video devices & audio/video players. A requirement for packages that support clipboard management & complex input devices up while focusing groups at Flutter Vikings but was not included in the quarterly survey.
If you’re attentive to contributing to Flutter packages, especially for desktops, consider assisting grow the Flutter ecosystem by developing packages to fill these gaps or submitting PRs to existing packages. By shaking hands to work together, we’re confident the Flutter package ecosystem will definitely grow & adapt to better support desktop developers.
Required additional desktop documentation
Desktop documentation for Flutter is the last category surveyed. Contentment with desktop docs of Flutter was 13 percent lower than contentment with the rest of the documentation of Flutter in Q3. After that, we asked what documentation would assist streamline the process of desktop development. Here are the most requested documentation topics:
- Publishing apps (43 percent
- Automatic updating (42 percent)
- Foreign Function Interface (FFI) (42 percent)
This response has been very assisting in prioritizing documentation work in Q4 2022 & 2023.
In 2023, all about Flutter & making it even better for mobile & desktop work. The Flutter framework is actively looking to provide the solution for the native menu bars & multi-window. The ultimate objective is to make the process of development more efficient & to add more documentation to make the entire process smooth. Additionally, the development team is working on the Flutter DevTools which make the features of performance monitoring & fix memory leaks more systematic.
So, this is all data from us about how we can improve Flutter for desktops. The above-written topics are the priority tasks for the community to work on. Let us improve Flutter for the desktop in 2023.
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